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Pure Appl. Chem., Vol. 71, No. 12, pp. 2349-2365, 1999

Glossary of Terms Used in Combinatorial Chemistry

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Decode: Use of a surrogate analyte to define the reaction path to which the solid support was exposed, and hence imply the structure of a member of a combinatorial library (see also encoding), or the reaction sequence for its preparation 21.

Deconvolute: To render less complex; Process of optimizing an activity of interest by fractionating (normally by resynthesis, or by elaborating a partial library) a pool with some level of the desired activity to give a set of smaller pools. Repeating this strategy leads to single members with (ideally) a high level of activity and is termed iterative deconvolution 22-24.

Dendrimer: A polymer having a regular branched structure; If suitably functionalized (such as the benzyl alcohol-substituted, four-branch structure shown below) may be used as a soluble support, in which case the desired, dendrimer-supported, material may be isolated by size-exclusion chromatography. Dendrimers may also be attached to a polymer and used as a solid support, with significantly increased loading over the initial resin 25-28.


Descriptor: Numerical representation of a molecular property, including bulk properties (e.g. logP, molecular weight), two-dimensional (2-D) features (atom connectivities), or three-dimensional (3-D) features (molecular shape). A complete set of descriptors comprises a fingerprint 16,29,30. See also binning, clustering.

Directed Library: (also biased- or focused library). Library which uses a limited number of building blocks chosen on the basis of preexisting information or hypothesis which defines the type of functionalities deemed important to obtain a particular activity. For example, every member of the diketopiperazine library shown below contains the thiol pharmacophore known to interact with metalloproteinase enzymes 31-33. See also Unbiased Library.

Direct Divide: Strategy for the assembly of a combinatorial library related to the pool/split process in which each portion of solid support is divided into the next set of reaction vessels without an intervening pooling step. The resulting library is (like a pool/split library) fully combinatorial, with each particle bearing a single library member, but has a reduced standard deviation between the quantity of each library member 34.

Directed Sorting: Technique for organizing a mixture of solid-supported samples by identifying each particle ( for instance, on the basis of its shape, marking, or by reading a radiofrequency code) and transferring it to an appropriate position in an array. See also sort and combine 35,36.

Diversity: The "unrelatedness" of a set of, for example, building blocks or members of a combinatorial library, as measured by their properties such as atom connectivity, physical properties, computational measurements, or bioactivity 17,37.

Diversity Reagent: One of a set of reagents which introduces diversity into the library products, as opposed to one which results in an identical conversion for each member of the library. Similar to building block but may be useful to distinguish from other (i.e. 'non-diversity') reagents.

Divide, Couple, Recombine: see Pool/Split

Dynamic Library: Collection of compounds in dynamic equilibrium. If the composition of the library is altered, for instance by the presence of a receptor which selectively binds certain library members, then shifting of the equilibrium will lead to an increase in the amount of those of components which bind to the target with relatively high affinity 38,39.


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